ONTARIO SCENE: Opening today at the National Art Centre Ottawa

600 Artists. 90 Events. 12 Days. 

Oh my! Where does one start?! First let me say this. There is nothing boring about Ottawa. So let’s just put that “it’s the city that rolls up the sidewalks at night” myth to rest. Just when I think I might get a breather from events the Writers Festival ends by seguing this city into another festival celebrating the arts – The National Arts Centre’s Ontario Scene. “Imagine 600 Ontario artists, from all disciplines, performing in the national spotlight on the stages of Ottawa/Gatineau: that’s Ontario Scene.”

The biggest limiting factor to Ontario Scene is that my body only allows for me to be in one place at one time. I may have to settle for 300 Artists, 30-ish events and maybe 1 less day.

I have already clocked two events with back to back nights at Carleton University Art Gallery for the Opening and Artist Walk Thru of the current exhibit “Human Nature.” This show “presents fourteen contemporary Ontario artists whose works look at the state of the natural world and our impact on it.”

Images by Leah Snyder for Mixed Bag Mag.

Graffiti Boxman Project. Photo Flips BSC.
 Kwende Kefentse.Credit James Park Photography.

Gathering in Ottawa this week are many Mixed Bag Mag Toronto faves! Kaha:wi Dance Theatre led a large crowd through a Powwow Boot Camp at the NAC yesterday proving you can #IndigenizeYourExercise. Gadfly and Mustafa the Poet will be part of Hip Hop Playground this coming Saturday a MANIFESTO initiative that will be transplanted here for #OntarioScene and hosted by Ottawa based Kwende Kefentse (Memetic). Juno Nominee Jaffa Road will play with the always raucous and rowdy Lemon Bucket Orkestra tomorrow evening at St. Albans Church – an event sure to be a crowd pleaser!
Jaffa Road. Photo Steve Carty.
Neema Bickersteth in Century Song. John Lauener Photography.

A new project I am very excited to see is Century Song on tonight and tomorrow at The Gladstone.

Century Song is a live performance hybrid showcasing the extraordinary Canadian soprano NEEMA BICKERSTETH. A radical revisioning of the recital form from one of Canada’s most exciting theatre companies, it is part classical song, part dance, part projection, and entirely theatrical.” Find out more…

Digging Roots. Raven Kanatakta and Shoshona Kish. Photo Ratul Debnath.

DECLARATION is a great Ontario Scene initiative that will be running from April 29 to May 3.

“DECLARATION is a celebration of Indigenous peoples’ right to engage in the creation and evolution of arts and culture, as asserted in Article 11 of the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Created by Toronto-based ARTICLE 11, DECLARATION is an immersive, live, sound and image installation and performance-creation lab. It offers the rare opportunity to witness established Indigenous artists mid-process as they take risks and explore new approaches and collaborations in a responsive, interdisciplinary environment.”

The artists involved:

Read more about the full DECLARATION programming here.
Jesse Wente.
Santee Smith. Image by Red Works. 

John Morris, NAC Executive Chef

Also, on the menu, literally, is food – the best of what Ontario has to offer in the culinary arts.
On Monday night:
le café presents a WINEMAKER’S DINNER that showcases and complements the delightful wines of Pelee Island, Canada’s oldest and most southerly wine region. For this special occasion, National Arts Centre Executive Chef JOHN MORRIS will prepare a sumptuous five-course menu with all-Ontario ingredients, and every course will be paired with the finest varietals that Pelee Island has to offer. Winemaster MARTIN JANZ, of Pelee Island Winery, will be in attendance.”
On Tuesday night:
“Experience the innovative and mouth-watering creations of more than a dozen top chefs from across the province as they vie for the $10,000 top prize in the ONTARIO CULINARY CHALLENGE. Each chef will prepare uniquely Ontario small plates, using a selection of 100% local and regional meats, cheeses, fruits, and vegetables. With the support of Wine Country Ontario, chefs will be partnered with Ontario wineries to produce the perfect food-wine pairings, which attendees can sample throughout the night. Rub elbows with chefs, sommeliers, and media, sample some of the province’s finest wines, and cast your vote to award the first-place prize for the very best of the best in Ontario’s culinary arts.”
Alright, time for a 2nd shot of espresso and I will be ready to go.
Full Ontario Scene Schedule here.
Follow along on twitter @Ontario_Scene & #OntarioScene.

 

 

 

 

PECHA KUCHA TORONTO: Celebrating World Creativity & Innovation Week

Colourful Poster for Pecha Kucha Night at the Gladstone HotelAfterModern.Lab’s newest poster design for Toronto’s April 2013 Pecha Kucha Night.

Getting to the point (in 6 mins & 40 secs) about Creativity, Design & Inspiration.  

For anyone who has yet to discover the phenomenon that is Pecha Kucha if you are in Toronto next Tuesday why not head to the Gladstone Hotel to find out what it is all about!

Pecha Kucha – named after the colloquial Japanese phrase for chit chat – began around 10 years ago in Tokyo and has since rippled around the world offering tidbits of inspiration to global audiences. Based on a simple format each presenter has 20 slides and 20 seconds per slide to talk about their passion, their obsession, their raison d’être!

Woman smiling with beer in her handMirella Amato of Beerology™. Image from www.beerology.ca.

One such passionate Pecha Kucha talk that got my attention was Mirella Amato’s talk on her business Beerology™. A former opera singer, Mirella spoke on how she blended together her two great passions – Opera and Beer – with a great mashup event called HOPERA.

Mirella Amato speaking at Pecha Kucha September 2013 at the Gladstone Hotel

Mirella has recently become the first Master Cicerone in Canada – the beer equivalent of a Sommelier – and gives guided beer-tasting sessions and workshops.

“My goal with Beerology™ is not to make beer recommendations based on my taste, but rather to share the tools necessary for each participant to zero in on their own personal favourites. I aim to get people excited about beer and point them in the right direction so that they can confidently continue exploring on their own. I also like to provide the context for each beer, including historical tidbits as well as anecdotes on brands, breweries and styles.” (read more on www.beerology.ca

Mirella’s Pecha Kucha presentation changed the way I thought about beer and definitely piqued my interest as well as my appetite. Follow Mirella on twitter @beerologyboffin & Beerology’s Facebook Page.

Group of people sitting on a stage in front of screen that says Yay Beer Break
Some of the Pecha Kucha presenters from the September 2013 event at the Gladstone Hotel. Photo by Leah Snyder for Mixed Bag Mag.

As a designer I have also enjoyed listening to other kindred spirits speak regarding their own design process. This was the original reason that Pecha Kucha was created, to give designers a unique forum to exchange ideas. If one looks at how rapidly Pecha Kucha has caught on it suggests it was the perfect creative dose that designers needed.

April’s Pecha Kucha Night is in collaboration with World Creativity & Innovation Week. This initiative started on this end of the globe in Toronto with much of the same impetus as Pecha Kucha with the shared idea of bringing creative minds together.

“WCIW was started just over a decade ago by creativity professional Marci Segal in Toronto, who sought to answer the questions “How do we get everyone to realize they have the ability and can use creativity to shape a better future?”

Since then, around the world, many have celebrated WCIW in their own unique ways. In the Netherlands, “creativity walks” with civil servants promote out-of-the-box thinking in public policy-making. In Argentina, schools get creative with collaborative art projects, while an international creativity conference takes place in Italy. In England, a group of friends experiments with creative cooking and in Ontario, schoolchildren take part in creative science exploration activities.” (read more on www.wciw.org)

Logo for World Creativity and Innovation Week

Follow World Creativity & Innovation Week on twitter @WCIW and Facebook.

RSVP here to Tuesday, April 16’s Pecha Kucha.